In the small town of Waco there is a hidden gem.
Side Porch Bakery and Cafe provides those of Waco and Madison County with all the delicious sweets their hearts desire.
The bakery opened in July 2019 as a way for the Blevins family to help bring some fun into the Waco community.
Tyler Blevins, co-owner, said around three and a half years ago he and his wife, Rhonda Blevins, moved to Waco.
“We live about a mile down the road,” Tyler said. “And every day that we would drive past this building my wife would look at it. Over time, we just fell in love with it. One day she (Rhonda) said, ‘You know what Waco doesn’t have?’
The answer to her question was a bakery. This day was the beginning of Side Porch Bakery and Cafe.
“She (Rhonda) wants Waco to expand and be more lively… She’s giving back to the community, so that we can have something in Waco,” Brooke Rose, daughter of Rhonda and Tyler Blevins, explained. Brooke joined the family-owned business a few months before the bakery and cafe opened, as head baker. She was a perfect fit, Tyler explained, given her degree in baking and pastry arts.
“Food has always been my calling,” Brooke explained. This calling has also been passed on to Brooke’s sister, Lexie.
Lexie said she came to work at the business as the coffee expert. However, things in the business moved quickly and she had to learn how to bake to help the store keep up. Thankfully, she had her sister there to help teach her.
“I learned everything I know from her,” Lexie said of her sister.
Now she is a full-time baker and Lexie has learned baking is where her passion lies. And she has no plans on looking back.
Both Lexie and Brooke work with a variety of bakery items in the day-to-day business of the bakery. Brooke said the bakery is mostly known for their sweets.
Their cinnamon rolls, which Brooke says are huge, are a fan favorite. She also noted the bakery features a lunch menu and people go crazy for their chicken salad and pimento cheese.
Each day Brooke does research into the bakery community and learns about new and interesting foods. If the bakery has what is needed to make those foods she will jump head first into baking them.
“It’s trial and error,” Brooke explained about seeing which items do well. She said once a new item is available in the bakery, they will see how well it sells. If it is simply sitting on the shelves and not being sold, they will scrap the idea and move onto another.
Despite the fact their normal bakery sweets have taken off in popularity, Brooke says now her main passion is working with the cafe’s allergen menu. Brooke explained the allergen menu came about because of an employee of the store. She said before the employee worked at the bakery, she was a steadfast supporter and would come in almost every day. However, one day she told Brooke she could not eat any of the food which was available because she had Celiac’s disease.
“That is what sparked it for me,” Brooke explained.
Now the bakery has a full list of items which are vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, and more. The goods range from whoopie pies to brownies and muffins. The store will even feature an allergen menu for Thanksgiving. The list includes a gluten-free pumpkin roll as well as vegan and gluten-free apple pies and pecan pies with chocolate chips or without.
“I’m excited for people to be able to buy things that they can eat and enjoy for the holiday,” Brooke said.
Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday Side Porch Bakery and Cafe are gearing up for, though. They already have plans for the Christmas season.
Brooke said they will continue on with their tradition, which started last year around Christmas time, of the Grinch Event.
This is where the Grinch will visit the shop and provide families with the chance for a photo op. The store will also be providing cookie decorating kits. These kits come in a half-dozen or a dozen, holiday-shaped sugar cookies and are packaged alongside colored royal icing.
Another big item this year has been hot chocolate bombs, and the bakery is more than ready to supply these delicious goodies.
“They’re a recent fling and we’re doing so many, it’s crazy,” Brooke explained.
The support of their community, whether it be buying hot chocolate bombs or spreading the news about the bakery by word-of-mouth, is what keeps the business going.
“We have been very fortunate,” Tyler said. “The community has been very supportive. It’s been a blessing because this is a small environment and they’ve supported us so much. I think its really reflective of our business, since we are a small family-run business. Even our staff has become like our family. And the community has too.”
Source: Thanks https://www.richmondregister.com/baked-in-family-run-bakery-thrives-in-waco/article_88032304-2f36-11eb-bc28-9b6abe951ed9.html